Couple Says Allstate Short-Changed Them, Put Home in Ad

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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Couple Says Allstate Short-Changed Them, Put Home in Ad

By SUSANNA KIM | ABC News – 20 hrs ago

  • Enlarge Photo
    ABC News - Couple Says Allstate Short-Changed Them, Put Home in Ad (ABC News)

A Staten Island couple said their insurance company short-changed them after superstorm Sandy destroyed their home, and then used their house in a commercial.

In October, Sheila Traina, 64, and her husband, Dominic, 66, had evacuated their home in New Dorp
Beach in response to warnings from local authorities about the storm.

Traina said a neighbor who had stayed behind called and told them the wind had knocked the roof off their two-story home but their insurer, Allstate, said the damage to their home was due to flooding.

"He said the house came down before the storm, came down and water finished it off," Traina said of her neighbor.

Allstate told her it was storm surge that caused the damage, she said.

The insurance company offered the Trainas, who did not have flood insurance, about $10,000 for the damages. They say the amount is well short of the $280,000 for which their home and its contents were insured.

"We have a witness," Traina said. "If you witnessed a murder, someobody would get convictred I would think."

The storm's winds also knocked down a 30-foot tall tree across the street, Traina said.

She said she has refused to accept the $10,000 and is planning to hire an attorney to fight for a settlement that matches the value of her home.

In the meantime, the Trainas are staying in a family member's home that is three miles away. Her husband is retired but they have income from his late mother's home, which they are renting.

Traina, an administrative secretary, said she had hoped to retire next year, but her plans are on hold until they can rebuild their home.

A spokeswoman from Allstate said the company is "committed to resolving the matter in accordance with the policy they purchased from our company."

"Allstate is always focused on ensuring our customers are completely satisfied," the spokeswoman said. "In major disasters such as Sandy, we are often the first on the scene providing financial and emotional support."

The Trainas said they previously had flood insurance, provided by the U.S. government's National Flood Insurance Program, but their payments were more than the reimbursement amounts they received for previous incidents.

Traditional private homeowners policies, such as those of Allstate, do not cover flood losses, the company said.

"We encourage our customers to consider flood insurance to protect themselves in ways that would not be covered under a homeowner's policy," Allstate said.

What the Trainas said upset them further was that an image of their damaged home was used in a commercial for Allstate.

After their Thanksgiving dinner, Traina said her husband and grandchildren were watching a football game when her grandchildren said they saw their home in a television advertisement.

"It was just a picture of our chair and our kitchen window but it was noticeable what they were showing," she said. "It was not a happy Thanksgiving after that."

Allstate said the advertisement "showed general images of the destruction caused by Sandy including a partial image of the Trainas' home."

"It does not reference them as customers or in any way imply they are satisfied with the status of their claim. We regret any concern this advertisement may have caused the Trainas and images of their home will not be included in Allstate's advertising," the company said.

Allstate said it has made almost $1.1 billion in claim payments and continues to work with local Allstate agencies and The Allstate Foundation's support of non-profit organizations.

Debra Hernandez, who lives on the same street as the Trainas, said besides flooding in her basement and a large shed that was destroyed, her home was spared.

"They paid me a decent amount for my structure so I'm more than satisfied," said Hernandez, who bought her home a year and a half ago. "What I claimed was pretty close to what I asked for."

Hernandez said she received a net of $2,700 after paying her $5,000 deductible.

Hernandez said she purchased flood insurance, and received a reimbursement for her flooded basement.

"Obviously I did not lose as much as other people," Hernandez said.
http://news.yahoo.com/couple-says-a...-them-put-home-194957583--abc-news-money.html
 

Creasy Bear

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The Trainas said they previously had flood insurance, provided by the U.S. government's National Flood Insurance Program, but their payments were more than the reimbursement amounts they received for previous incidents.
Sorry... but I have very little sympathy for people who get repeatedly punched in the face, but instead of walking away, choose to stand their ground and wait for the next punch.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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#3
The insurance companies will do whatever they think they can get away with in order to keep from paying out claims from that storm. Since it wasn't technically a hurricane when it made landfall they can't get their customers for the hurricane deductible so they'll just get around that by classifying everything as flood damage no matter what logic says happened.

Allstate is horrendous when it comes to paying for claims. My car got totalled and I wound up in the ER thanks to one of their customers running a red light and smashing into my car. They told my insurance company they were only going to pay for 75% of the damages despite a police officer witnessing the other driver running the light and the driver admitting to another officer that he ran the light. Not only that, but 20 months after the accident, I got a bill from the local police department's EMS for the ambulance ride. It turns out that Allstate not only never paid them, they didn't even respond to any of their calls or letters in any way. I had to resubmit paperwork with my insurance information and hope it got paid or I'd be out $600 for an ambulance ride that was literally 2 minutes. It took about a year after the accident for me to get the other 25% of my deductible back after my insurance company took them to mediation. They knew full well that the police report showed that their customer was 100% at fault and had even been issued a citation at the scene and they knew that my insurance company would fight them to get the full amount and win, so all they were really doing was making me wait a year to get back money I never should have had to spend in the first place.
 

Myhairygrundle

Screw you guys, I'm going home.
Jul 16, 2005
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#4
Allstate is crap and I'm in the claims bidness.

That being said, the flood versus wind fight is nothing new.

But how the fuck would you not have flood insurance? It's affordable and pays for stuff just like this.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#5
The insurance companies will do whatever they think they can get away with in order to keep from paying out claims from that storm. Since it wasn't technically a hurricane when it made landfall they can't get their customers for the hurricane deductible so they'll just get around that by classifying everything as flood damage no matter what logic says happened.
Is this a caveat in NY insurance law? I believe in Florida, our policy said damage from "any NOAA named storm" would require payment of the hurricane deductible.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#6
Is this a caveat in NY insurance law? I believe in Florida, our policy said damage from "any NOAA named storm" would require payment of the hurricane deductible.
NYS Insurance department is bought and paid for by the Insurance Companies. It is a revolving door of stupidity and criminality, IMO.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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Is this a caveat in NY insurance law? I believe in Florida, our policy said damage from "any NOAA named storm" would require payment of the hurricane deductible.
It might vary from state to state, but I know I saw a bunch of news stations make a point of mentioning that the NOAA had said the storm no longer had tropical characteristics when it made landfall and that it would have a big impact on insurance companies. I know in NJ, Gov. Christie made sure to close any potential loopholes by signing an order that prohibited insurance companies from requiring customers to pay any hurricane or "named storm" deductibles. I don't know if NY did anything similar but it seems to me that the extra deductibles lost in NJ have to be made up somehow and this is a way for insurance companies to more than make up for the difference. "Oh, we lost $2,000 or so per claim? No problem, we just saved $260,000 by classifying this collapsed house as flood damage despite the fact that the roof is 2 houses down the road and the hosue next door is still standing. A few more of these and we'll have made up for those lost hurricane deductibles plus some!"
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#8
$2000? Shit our deductible in florida was 10% of the replacement value of our house. We had a $16k deductible during Ivan.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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#9
$2000? Shit our deductible in florida was 10% of the replacement value of our house. We had a $16k deductible during Ivan.
I guess you have higher deductibles for that stuff in FL since the risk is higher but up here the deductibles aren't that high since we just don't get hurricanes all that often despite what the past 2 years have brought. Mine is a flat $1,000 living just over the bridge from the barrier island and other people I know have percentages in the 2% range. I'd imagine they were higher for beachfront properties (in both percentages and dollars), but there was a lot of damage to homes that weren't on the barrier island here in NJ thanks to fallen trees and branches and flooding in places that don't usually flood.
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
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#10
The insurance companies will do whatever they think they can get away with in order to keep from paying out claims from that storm. Since it wasn't technically a hurricane when it made landfall they can't get their customers for the hurricane deductible so they'll just get around that by classifying everything as flood damage no matter what logic says happened.

Allstate is horrendous when it comes to paying for claims. My car got totalled and I wound up in the ER thanks to one of their customers running a red light and smashing into my car. They told my insurance company they were only going to pay for 75% of the damages despite a police officer witnessing the other driver running the light and the driver admitting to another officer that he ran the light. Not only that, but 20 months after the accident, I got a bill from the local police department's EMS for the ambulance ride. It turns out that Allstate not only never paid them, they didn't even respond to any of their calls or letters in any way. I had to resubmit paperwork with my insurance information and hope it got paid or I'd be out $600 for an ambulance ride that was literally 2 minutes. It took about a year after the accident for me to get the other 25% of my deductible back after my insurance company took them to mediation. They knew full well that the police report showed that their customer was 100% at fault and had even been issued a citation at the scene and they knew that my insurance company would fight them to get the full amount and win, so all they were really doing was making me wait a year to get back money I never should have had to spend in the first place.
The legal department has to get paid somehow.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#11


I never could work up any sympathy for hoarders.
 

Wrecktum

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Jun 29, 2006
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#12
It sucks but I kinda don't feel bad for people that live in areas prone to flooding and such.
 

Creasy Bear

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#13
It sucks but I kinda don't feel bad for people that live in areas prone to flooding and such.
Google Earth this neighborhood where these two old coots live... stupid-named New Dorp Beach. It's like the bay is a funnel on the Atlantic that aims the storm surge directly at the neighborhood. They may as well paint a big bullseye right on their beach.